Hunter numbers, harvest strong despite wind and cold

image002BILLINGS — The number of hunters and the percentage of sportsmen who harvested animals remained strong over the weekend in south central Montana, despite challenging weather conditions.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists who operated three check stations in south central Montana Saturday and Sunday all reported that the percentage of hunters who had game was better than the same weekend last year and close to the long-term average for the fourth weekend of the general big-game season.

Hunters at all check stations reported seeing plenty of deer rutting activity, but that winds to 40 miles per hour made hunting difficult.

At Columbus, FWP wildlife biologist Shawn Stewart checked 209 hunters, down from 226 on the same weekend last year. Of the sportsmen checked, 38 percent had harvested game, up from 26 percent on the same weekend last year and only a point lower than the long-term average.

Stewart checked 35 white-tailed deer – up four from last year – and 31 mule deer, up from 25 in 2013. This was the first weekend of the season when the white-tailed deer harvest exceeded the mule deer harvest. The elk harvest remains strong with 13 animals checked over the weekend at Columbus, up from just two last year.

For the year so far, 809 hunters have stopped at Columbus – 13 percent below last year but ahead of the long-term average of 778. The mule deer and white-tailed deer harvest remains well below the long-term average, but the number of elk checked and the percentage of hunters with game are near average.

At the Lavina check station, FWP wildlife biologist Ashley Taylor saw 201 hunters Saturday and Sunday, down from 210 on the same weekend in 2013. She ckecked 16 white-tailed deer – down just one from last year – and 25 mule deer – down from 28 a year ago. The elk harvest remained strong with 17 animals checked compared to 14 last year. For the weekend, 28 percent of sportsmen who stopped at Lavina had game – up a point from 2013 and one point lower than the long-term average.

For the first four weekends of the 2014 season, hunter numbers at Lavina are nearly identical to the long-term average of 1,241. The white-tailed deer harvest is off by 71 percent, the mule deer harvest is down 53 percent and the percentage of hunters with game is just 16 percent – down from a long-term average of 29 percent. The elk harvest ramins strong, however, with 78 animals checked – up from an average of 46.

At the Big Timber check station, all statistics were higher than the same weekend in 2013. FWP wildlife biologist Justin Paugh checked 104 hunters – up from 95 last year, but well below the long-term average of 142. Sportsmen checked 17 white-tailed deer – up from 10 last year – and 30 mule deer – up from 17 in 2013. Both deer statistics were well below the long-term average for the Big Timber check station. Elk remain a bright spot with nine checked over the weekend – compared to last year’s count and the long term average of six.

The percentage of hunters with game was 54 percent – up three points from the long-term average and well above last year’s 35 percent rate.

For the year to date, 617 hunters have stopped at Big Timber compared to an average of 631 for the first four weekends. The 40 white-tailed deer checked represent less than half of the average of 88 while the number of mule deer – 102 this year – is well below the average of 127. The elk harvest remains strong with 36 checked – 10 better than the average. The percentage of hunters with game is 37 percent so far this year – down from a long-term average of 50 percent.

Montana’s five-week general big-game season runs through Nov. 30. Hunters are reminded that they must stop at any check station they pass while hunting, whether or not they have harvested game. Check stations primarily are intended for biologists to gather statistical information about animals and hunters.

 

-FWP-

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FWP looking for information on poached mule deer

image002BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game wardens are offering a reward for information about a mule deer buck that was killed illegally and left to waste south of Billings on Nov. 12.

FWP game warden Courtney Tyree said the mule deer buck was shot illegally along Hillcrest Road south of Billings.

FWP is offering a reward of as much as $1,000 for information leading to a conviction of the persons responsible for the illegal kill. Anyone with information about the crimes is encouraged to call Tyree at (406) 860-7814 or FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (800-847-6668).

The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where people can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers may remain anonymous. It is similar to the well-known Crimestoppers program and offers rewards for information resulting in conviction of persons who abuse Montana’s natural, historic or cultural resources.

 

-FWP-

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Happy Veterans Day!

pmvet-page001

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Third weekend of 2014 season brings out hunters, game

image002BILLINGS — Weather conditions in south central Montana did not seem to limit the number of hunters who went to the field or the number of animals harvested during the third weekend of the 2014 general big game season.

Despite wind and falling temperatures in many locations, the number of hunters and harvested animals were about what were expected. And many hunters who stopped at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks check stations mentioned that rutting activity among deer is picking up dramatically.

At the Big Timber check station, FWP wildlife biologist Justin Paugh reported that hunter numbers were the highest since 2009 and near the long term average. The number of hunters who had harvested game was only 36 percent, however, matching the record low set in 2010.

The 156 hunters who stopped at Big Timber over the weekend had harvested seven white-tailed deer, 25 mule deer, 14 antelope and nine elk. During the same weekend last year, 142 hunters checked 15 white-tailed deer, 30 mule deer, three antelope and five elk.

For the first three weekends of the season, hunter numbers at Big Timber are running near long term average.  Harvest numbers for white-tailed deer, mule deer and antelope are below average. The elk harvest is running above average but still lagging behind the previous two year.

At the Lavina check station, FWP wildlife biologist Ashley Beyer checked 341 hunters over the weekend, up steeply from 271 last year. Sixteen percent of hunters had harvested game, identical to last year’s statistic for the same weekend.

During the weekend hunters brought in six white-tailed deer, 29 mule deer, three antelope and 15 elk. During the same weekend in 2013 hunters checked 11white-tailed deer, 25 mule deer, two antelope and six elk .

Through the third weekend of the season, FWP has checked 1,036 big game hunters at Lavina. That is eight percent above the long-term average and the most hunters since 2004. The percentage of hunters with game was 16 percent, well below the average of 30 percent.

Through the first three weekends, harvest of mule deer is 56 percent below average, white-tailed deer are 82 percent below average and antelope are 84 percent below average. The elk harvest, however, is 79 percent above the long-term average, with 35 bulls and 26 antlerless elk checked in the first three weekends.

At the Columbus check station, FWP wildlife biologist Shawn Stewart checked only 175 hunters, down 20 percent from the same weekend last year.  Twelve white-tailed deer  were checked representing a decline of 57 percent from the third weekend in 2013.  Stewart checked 35 mule deer, down 12 percent from the previous year.  Three elk were also checked – similar to last year’s harvest.

For the 2014 season so far, 600 hunters have checked in at Columbus.  That is 14 percent below last year, but slightly above the long term average.  Only 45 white-tailed deer have been checked to date – down 41 percent from last year and 35 percent below the long term average harvest.  Mule deer harvest to date running 10 percent below last year and 40 percent below the long term average.  Elk harvest through the third weekend is identical to last year’s record harvest and 131 percent above the long term average.

At the Laurel check station, FWP wildlife research specialist Jay Watson checked 182 hunters over the weekend with seven white-tailed deer, 28 mule deer and one elk. During the same weekend last year, Watson checked 198 hunters who had harvested 10 white-tailed deer, 27 mule deer and three elk. The percentage of hunters with game was 20 percent, down five points from the same weekend in 2013.

For the year so far, check station statistics show that the number of hunters as well as the deer harvest are at all-time lows.

Montana’s five-week general big-game season runs through Nov. 30. Hunters are reminded that they must stop at any check station they pass while hunting, whether or not they have harvested game. Check stations primarily are intended for biologists to gather statistical information about animals and hunters.

-FWP-

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Tournament Committee and Magazine Committee Meeting

Title: Tournament Committee and Magazine Committee Meeting
Location: Alpine Casino
Description: meeting Tuesday 11/12 @
Alpine casino 6 30 pm / tournament committee and magazine committee meeting.

Start Time: 18:30
Date: 2014-11-12

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2015 Calendar Send us you pics!

roundcalAny member out there that did any fishing and has a picture of their catch please email photos in as well as hunting photos.  Be sure to include name and date of birth, and if you want a calendar.  It has member birthdays,  major events, and member photos.  $13.00 per calendar  (subject to change if we order more than 30 calendars)   Need pictures by 12/10 at latest to make sure in calendar and ready by January meeting.  Please email all information to k_klement@yahoo.com.

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Clean Angling News October 2014


Clean Angling News

October 2014
The Cost of Invasion

We all know that there are significant economic costs associated with invasive species impacts and control. While many people focus on the ecological damage that invasions can produce, the economic impacts are driving the funding for invasive species programs. There are lots of examples of how the cost of daily activities increases following invasion and there recently have been a couple of stories that highlight these impacts.

Since 2007 Quagga mussels have been impacting the management of water in the lower Colorado River. California’s Metropolitan Water District is now spending 3-5 million dollars annually to clean water delivery systems. This economic impact could be dwarfed if the drought the area is experiencing continues. Read More

According to a 2007 survey, feral hogs are costing the US at least $1.5 billion per year. However, the pigs are expanding their range rapidly and the impacts are growing. To help in the fight, the US Dept. of Agriculture has created a $20 million per year program to control the hogs. For a great overview of the feral hog problem read this excellent article from Scientific American  Read More


Tracking the spread of an Invader

Once a species is introduced how does it spread? While we may think we have some of the answers to this question, our assumptions are usually based on experience and observation, not measurable data. A new research paper from Washington University in St. Louis provides  insights into the spread of one invader.

Native to Southeast Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) showed up in Houston, Texas, in 1985. By 1986 it had reached St. Louis, Missouri, and Jacksonville, Florida. Thus, in a single year, the insect moved many hundreds of miles. This is quite a feat when you consider that these are poor flying insects and an adult will travel less than a kilometer in it’s lifetime.

To better understand the movement of this invader the researchers turned to the new field of Landscape Genetics to see if they could determine how the mosquito spreads. They developed a clever technique of sampling flower vases in cemeteries which trap and hold water and provide ideal habitat for juvenile mosquitoes. Their findings help to shed some light on the movement of this invader and their work offers suggestions for managers. Read More


Previously Posted on Facebook

We review news stories on a daily basis and post stories of interest on Facebook as we find them. However, we know that many of you are not using Facebook so here are the links we posted during October on our Facebook pages.

******* A reminder to those who follow us on Facebook: Facebook is limiting number of people who receive our posts. If you have liked our Facebook page you may not be getting our posts in your news feed. The only way to make sure you are seeing our posts is to visit our page to see all of the content we publish.

Our Clean Angling Facebook page is where we post links that deal with fish, fishing, cleaning, boat inspections, and other issues of interest to anglers.

Lake Erie used to support one of the finest recreational fisheries in the country. It is sad to see it in this condition

Here is a great page to follow if you are concerned about the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Park

Fishery biologists currently use chemicals to kill non-native fish when they want to restore native species. New Montana research shows that removal through electrofishing may be a better alternative

On our Invasive Species Action Network Facebook page we post all types of invasive species news including stories about all types of invaders, policy issues and other items of interest.

Are you looking for a new hobby? Some divers in the Caribbean think that spearing lionfish and hand feeding them to sharks is great sport 

California is seeking nominees for service on the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee – this is a great opportunity if you want to make a difference

Do you ever wonder how invasives get to the US in the first place? Read this story about the invaders that were discovered at a single border crossing during a recent 3-day period

With media alarms being raised about the discovery of quagga mussels in the UK, many are wondering if there is a real cause for concern. This article examines that question and says the concern is real

This past summer much of the US became aware of the serious problem caused by the toxic algal bloom in Lake Erie. While elevated nutrients is a serious problem, invasives are making things worse

Many people are unaware that freshwater jellyfish even exist, let alone that they can be invasives. They are established in Wisconsin and are slowly spreading

Although quagga mussels have been causing problems in North America for years, the United Kingdom has avoided their introduction – until now! 

New research shows that despite the massive invasive mussel infestation in the Great Lakes, there are still pockets where native mussels are thriving 

Invasive crayfish are a well recognized threat to stream ecosystems in North America. However, invasive crayfish also threaten European waters – this time they come from the USA

There is big trouble in New York where there is a bitter fight between those who want to control invasive swans and those who love them

Stinkbugs have been steadily spreading from Pennsylvania where they were first discovered in 1998. Each year they extend their range and in the fall they move indoors and become a noticeable pest

Congratulations to these folks for finding a great new way to utilize an invasive species! Apple snail candles could be the perfect Christmas gift.

Montana has been fighting invasive bullfrogs since they were first discovered. Unfortunately, they have continued to expand their range and now inhabit more than 60 miles along the Yellowstone River

Zequanox s the non-chemical treatment for zebra mussels that has a lot of potential. In lab tests the compound has proven to be an effective mussel killer. Now there is news about a field test in Minnesota

Our Forest Pest Fly Tying Project Facebook page provides information for anyone concerned about the spread of forest pest insects. Visit the page and join the conversation about the problem and our unique fly tying program.

Climate change will have significant impacts on invasive pests in our forests. Read how the Southern pine beetle is threatening northern forests

Until now we have believed that the emerald ash borer will only attack ash trees. However, There is new evidence that they may find other trees attractive

Read about the new firewood campaign that just launched to protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

October 2014

One aspect of invasive species that has changed significantly in recent years is the level of awareness in the public. Just a few years ago it seemed that most people were totally unaware of the threat that invasives pose. We have see a real change and today most people I meet have their own tales of being impacted by an invader.

We need to build on the success we’ve had in building awareness. Teaching people that invasive are a problem is a great start but we really need these same people to change their behavior so they reduce the risk that they may be transporting invasives. Lets all make sure that we include messages about how individual can help whenever we talk about the invasive species problem.

Last month we asked you for a couple of minute of your time to complete a short survey. Thanks to all of you who have participated. Your feedback matters and we will try to use it to deliver you the best newsletter we can. If you did not have a chance to take the survey yet we are leaving it open for a couple more weeks. Take the survey

Although there have been no new felt restrictions recently, we continue to get more questions about felt bans than just about anything else. TheStatus of US Felt Restrictions page is where we track every felt ban or proposal that we know of. At this time we do not know of any additional restrictions under consideration but that can change at any time and we update the page every time we get new information.

I hope you will get in touch with me if you have questions or invasive species stories to share.

Bob Wiltshire
Executive Director ISAN

The Clean Angling News is published monthly by the Invasive Species Action Network. Please send comments, questions and complaints tonewsletter@stopans.org.

Please help

This newsletter, the Clean Angling Pledge and all of our efforts to prevent the spread of invasives are financed by contributions. Please help us with a tax deductible PayPal donation of any amount.

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Visit the Clean Angling Store where you’ll find a variety of T shirts, hats and other items.

The Clean Angling News is regularly produced by the Invasive Species Action Network. If you have questions, suggestions or would like to learn more about invasive species please contact us:

Invasive Species Action Network
215 East Lewis, #201
Livingston, MT 59047
406-222-7270
info@stopans.org

 

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Hunting numbers low for second weekend of general season

image002BILLINGS — The number of hunters who stopped at south central Montana check stations – and the percentage of hunters with animals – generally were very low during the second weekend of the 2014 general big game season.

At the Big Timber check station, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist Justin Paugh said the number of hunters checked and the percentage of hunters with game were the lowest on record for the second weekend of the general big-game season. He checked just 104 hunters on Saturday and Sunday – down 43 from 2013 and 45 from the 10-year average. Just 28 percent of hunters had harvested game, compared to 30 percent during the same weekend last year and a long-term average of 53.3 percent.

Paugh checked four white-tailed deer – them same as the second weekend in 2013 but only 20 percent of the long-term average. Eleven mule deer were checked – down from 16 last year and a long-term average of 27. Eight elk were checked, which is close to average but six fewer than the same weekend in 2013.

FWP wildlife research specialist Jay Watson reported that the number of hunters who stopped at the Laurel check station and the percentage of hunters with animals were very low for the second weekend of the general season. Just 84 hunters stopped at Laurel Saturday and Sunday –  half of last year’s numbers. Of those, 18 percent had harvested game compared to 34 percent in 2013. Four white-tailed deer – compared to 27 last year – and seven mule deer – compared to 28 last year – were checked.

Low numbers were due to a combination of factors, including warm weather, a reduced opportunity to shoot antlerless deer and last year’s outbreak of fatal epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, Watson said. On the bright side, hunters said that, in some areas, they are seeing more mule deer does and fawns than in previous years.

At Columbus, FWP wildlife biologist Shawn Stewart checked 190 hunters over the weekend – down 36 from the same weekend in 2013 and well below the long-term average. For the first two weekends of the year, hunter numbers are 11 percent above the long-term average at Columbus. Of those who stopped, 33 percent had harvested game – up from 27 percent last year.

Hunters checked 16 white-tailed deer at Columbus – down three from 2013 – and 28 mule deer – two fewer than the same weekend last year. The eight elk checked were double last year’s number and triple the long-term average, Stewart said. He attributed the elk harvest to liberalized antlerless elk opportunities, though most elk remain on private property, where access is difficult.

At Lavina, FWP wildlife biologist Ashley Taylor checked 199 hunters over the weekend – down from 242 last year. Just 11 percent of hunters had harvested an animal, down from 17 percent the same weekend last year. Taylor checked three white-tailed deer – down from 10 in 2013 – and nine mule deer – down from 21 last year. Nine elk came through the check station, the same as the second weekend of the 2013 big-game season.

For the first two weeks of the season at FWP’s four south central Montana check station, 1,694 hunters have stopped with 66 white-tailed deer, 143 mule deer and 97 elk.

Montana’s five-week general big-game season runs through Nov. 30. Hunters are reminded that they must stop at any check station they pass while hunting, whether or not they have harvested game. Check stations primarily are intended for biologists to gather statistical information about animals and hunters.

 

-FWP-

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Hunting numbers low for second weekend of general season

BILLINGS — The number of hunters who stopped at south central Montana check stations – and the percentage of hunters with animals – generally were very low during the second weekend of the 2014 general big game season.

At the Big Timber check station, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist Justin Paugh said the number of hunters checked and the percentage of hunters with game were the lowest on record for the second weekend of the general big-game season. He checked just 104 hunters on Saturday and Sunday – down 43 from 2013 and 45 from the 10-year average. Just 28 percent of hunters had harvested game, compared to 30 percent during the same weekend last year and a long-term average of 53.3 percent.

Paugh checked four white-tailed deer – them same as the second weekend in 2013 but only 20 percent of the long-term average. Eleven mule deer were checked – down from 16 last year and a long-term average of 27. Eight elk were checked, which is close to average but six fewer than the same weekend in 2013.

FWP wildlife research specialist Jay Watson reported that the number of hunters who stopped at the Laurel check station and the percentage of hunters with animals were very low for the second weekend of the general season. Just 84 hunters stopped at Laurel Saturday and Sunday –  half of last year’s numbers. Of those, 18 percent had harvested game compared to 34 percent in 2013. Four white-tailed deer – compared to 27 last year – and seven mule deer – compared to 28 last year – were checked.

Low numbers were due to a combination of factors, including warm weather, a reduced opportunity to shoot antlerless deer and last year’s outbreak of fatal epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, Watson said. On the bright side, hunters said that, in some areas, they are seeing more mule deer does and fawns than in previous years.

At Columbus, FWP wildlife biologist Shawn Stewart checked 190 hunters over the weekend – down 36 from the same weekend in 2013 and well below the long-term average. For the first two weekends of the year, hunter numbers are 11 percent above the long-term average at Columbus. Of those who stopped, 33 percent had harvested game – up from 27 percent last year.

Hunters checked 16 white-tailed deer at Columbus – down three from 2013 – and 28 mule deer – two fewer than the same weekend last year. The eight elk checked were double last year’s number and triple the long-term average, Stewart said. He attributed the elk harvest to liberalized antlerless elk opportunities, though most elk remain on private property, where access is difficult.

At Lavina, FWP wildlife biologist Ashley Taylor checked 199 hunters over the weekend – down from 242 last year. Just 11 percent of hunters had harvested an animal, down from 17 percent the same weekend last year. Taylor checked three white-tailed deer – down from 10 in 2013 – and nine mule deer – down from 21 last year. Nine elk came through the check station, the same as the second weekend of the 2013 big-game season.

For the first two weeks of the season at FWP’s four south central Montana check station, 1,694 hunters have stopped with 66 white-tailed deer, 143 mule deer and 97 elk.

Montana’s five-week general big-game season runs through Nov. 30. Hunters are reminded that they must stop at any check station they pass while hunting, whether or not they have harvested game. Check stations primarily are intended for biologists to gather statistical information about animals and hunters.

 

-FWP-

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Hunting numbers low for second weekend of general season

BILLINGS — The number of hunters who stopped at south central Montana check stations – and the percentage of hunters with animals – generally were very low during the second weekend of the 2014 general big game season.

At the Big Timber check station, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist Justin Paugh said the number of hunters checked and the percentage of hunters with game were the lowest on record for the second weekend of the general big-game season. He checked just 104 hunters on Saturday and Sunday – down 43 from 2013 and 45 from the 10-year average. Just 28 percent of hunters had harvested game, compared to 30 percent during the same weekend last year and a long-term average of 53.3 percent.

Paugh checked four white-tailed deer – them same as the second weekend in 2013 but only 20 percent of the long-term average. Eleven mule deer were checked – down from 16 last year and a long-term average of 27. Eight elk were checked, which is close to average but six fewer than the same weekend in 2013.

FWP wildlife research specialist Jay Watson reported that the number of hunters who stopped at the Laurel check station and the percentage of hunters with animals were very low for the second weekend of the general season. Just 84 hunters stopped at Laurel Saturday and Sunday –  half of last year’s numbers. Of those, 18 percent had harvested game compared to 34 percent in 2013. Four white-tailed deer – compared to 27 last year – and seven mule deer – compared to 28 last year – were checked.

Low numbers were due to a combination of factors, including warm weather, a reduced opportunity to shoot antlerless deer and last year’s outbreak of fatal epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, Watson said. On the bright side, hunters said that, in some areas, they are seeing more mule deer does and fawns than in previous years.

At Columbus, FWP wildlife biologist Shawn Stewart checked 190 hunters over the weekend – down 36 from the same weekend in 2013 and well below the long-term average. For the first two weekends of the year, hunter numbers are 11 percent above the long-term average at Columbus. Of those who stopped, 33 percent had harvested game – up from 27 percent last year.

Hunters checked 16 white-tailed deer at Columbus – down three from 2013 – and 28 mule deer – two fewer than the same weekend last year. The eight elk checked were double last year’s number and triple the long-term average, Stewart said. He attributed the elk harvest to liberalized antlerless elk opportunities, though most elk remain on private property, where access is difficult.

At Lavina, FWP wildlife biologist Ashley Taylor checked 199 hunters over the weekend – down from 242 last year. Just 11 percent of hunters had harvested an animal, down from 17 percent the same weekend last year. Taylor checked three white-tailed deer – down from 10 in 2013 – and nine mule deer – down from 21 last year. Nine elk came through the check station, the same as the second weekend of the 2013 big-game season.

For the first two weeks of the season at FWP’s four south central Montana check station, 1,694 hunters have stopped with 66 white-tailed deer, 143 mule deer and 97 elk.

Montana’s five-week general big-game season runs through Nov. 30. Hunters are reminded that they must stop at any check station they pass while hunting, whether or not they have harvested game. Check stations primarily are intended for biologists to gather statistical information about animals and hunters.

 

-FWP-

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